At Home: Retro-fit kit makes showerhead installation easier

No need to remodel to install rain-style fixture

Rain-style showerheads are usually mounted on the ceiling of the shower stall. (Kohler)

Q: Dear Ed: I have a basic 3-by-3-foot shower stall and always wanted a rain head-type showerhead. With an existing standard shower stall, how do you convert to a rain-style showerhead without turning it into a big remodel project?


— Paul, Rhode Island

A: Standard shower heads are usually wall-mounted because they’re designed to spray out and into the center of the shower stall. On the other hand, rain showerheads are usually mounted on the ceiling of the shower stall and they’re designed to “rain” down into the stall.

So, if you try to install a rain-style showerhead onto a standard wall-mounted shower arm, it may not perform to its full potential.

To avoid some remodeling issues, you could look into new hydro-rail piping kits that connect to your existing mixing valve water pipes. These attractive piping kits are mounted inside the shower stall and feature a long, arched shower arm that extends up toward the shower stall ceiling.

Once the retro-fit kit is installed, simply attach the new head to the extended arm fitting to complete the rain shower upgrade without causing a storm of remodeling issues.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and internet shows and a LEED green associate. Visit or write Always consult local contractors and codes.